Winter Workout Tips for Your Horse

January 18, 2016 2 min read

jument  baieWinter doesn’t have to be a time of hibernation for your horse. It is actually better to keep your horse in some sort of shape during the winter rather than giving him several months off and trying to get back in to show season shape in a hurry. Winter workouts help maintain your horse’s fitness, preserve training, and promote mental well being. Here are some tips to help you properly work your horse during the winter months:

Warm Ups

Warming up the cold muscles in the winter is critical to a safe ride. It stretches the muscles and joints and also gets your horse’s circulation going. Warm ups should be around 10-20 minutes. Warm ups can include small circles, lateral movements, counter flexions, halts, backing, walk to trot transitions, and so on.

Workouts

The main part of your horse’s workout is generally geared towards keeping your horse in condition and refining his skills. If you are riding three days a week, you should try to make one of those rides a “serious” ride. Depending on your disciple, this may include jumping, running a pattern, etc. This will also help to keep your horse’s mind in the game.

Show Conditioning

If you plan on showing your horse throughout the winter, conditioning shouldn’t be much different than during the summer. Create your work out plans based on how much fitness is needed for your show. If your horse is barefoot during the winter, put shoes on him 2-3 weeks prior to the show date to address any soreness if necessary.

Cool Downs

After any hard workout, your horse needs a proper cool down before returning to this stall or turnout. The circulation from a cool down helps to keep your horse from becoming stiff and sore. If the horse’s skin is wet from sweating, the horse needs to completely dry out to keep the horse from getting chills. Walk your horse quietly under saddle for about 10-15 minutes or until he stops breathing heavily. Depending on how a horse is clipped, some horses may need a cooler on when being cooled out to keep them from catching a chill. Winter workouts are essential to your horse’s overall condition. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and get out there and ride! For more information on winter workouts, CLICK HERE.


Also in Blog

How Long Can a Horse Go Without Water?
How Long Can a Horse Go Without Water?

February 23, 2024 2 min read

Horses are large mammals that require a lot of water to survive. A horse’s body is made up of almost 70% water. Horses lose water through sweat, urination, and other bodily functions. A horse should consume 0.5 gallons of water per 100 pounds of body weight daily. Horses can also gain water from feed. Hay and grass contain 10-15% water. However, grains have almost no water.
What is the Importance of Maintaining a Neutral Posture?
What is the Importance of Maintaining a Neutral Posture?

February 16, 2024 2 min read

Sufferers of back pain have probably heard of the benefits of neutral posture. However, it might be a new term if you just recently noticed some back pain or tension. A neutral posture means positioning your body so it is aligned and balanced, regardless of whether you are sitting or standing.
Fetlock Injuries in Horses: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Recovery
Fetlock Injuries in Horses: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Recovery

February 09, 2024 3 min read

The fetlock is a hinge-like joint that connects the cannon bone and pastern in horses. It’s a crucial joint for horses’ mobility and performance. Unfortunately, this important joint is susceptible to various injuries that can range from mild to severe